Posted April 9, 2007 9:00 am by with 19 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

By Dustin Woodard.

Link baiting is all the buzz these days in the SEO industry. It’s really nothing new, people have been baiting for years. In fact, I’d say 98% of us would admit to baiting from time to time—and the other 2% are lying.

What does it take to be a master baiter? Besides hands and a keyboard, a master baiter should have a creative mind, marketing skills and, obviously, be web savvy. I also believe link baiting should be intentional—none of this my-hand-slipped-and-I-got-lucky crap.

Below is a list of people I think are the biggest Master Baiters in the search industry. These are the people who seem to be able to hook even those who know they are baiting them. I’m sure there are other private baiters out there, hidden under a corporate brand that might be able to rival these guys, but they don’t bait in public like these guys do. I admit that I’ve been baiting in private until this post.

 The 10 Biggest Master Baiters in Search Are:

1) Rand Fishkin

2) Michael Gray

3) Nick Wilson

4) Andy Haggans

5) Todd Mailcoat

6) Andy Beal

7) Neil Patel

8) Shoemoney

9) Brian Clark

10) Lyndon Antcliff

You may have noticed there are no females on the list. Its not that females don’t bait—I think they’re just a bit more secretive about it. Want to Become a Master Link Baiter? Here are some tips:

  • Study viral marketing techniques. Don’t worry, you’ll never catch a virus from baiting.
  • Become friends with other master baiters. You know the saying that sales people are the easiest to sell to. Well, baiters can’t help but appreciate your creative baiting session and they can’t help but blog about it.
  • Be creative and don’t give up. No matter how boring a site or industry may seem, there’s always at least one link bait waiting to happen. I once worked for a company that sold legal compliance manuals to human resource professionals (can’t get much more boring then that), but by creating a tax savings calculator and flexing my marketing muscles, we found link love from the WSJ, BusinessWeek, a number of HR magazines, hundreds of company intranets, and the top sites in the industry.
  • Try different baiting techniques. Some baiters break news, others share research and some use humor. Also experience with the medium. Some prefer to bait with videos, some do it in person (Guy Kayawsaki), some use books (Aaron Wall), some hold contests, and some bait with photos.

So give baiting a try, but be realistic. Not everybody can be a master baiter.

[This has been an entry for Marketing Pilgrim’s SEM Scholarship contest. Keep up to date with all entries and other marketing news by subscribing to our rss feed.]

  • if you bait them, they will come.

  • Rand gets me everytime but it is useful bait.


  • Is there a funniest submission award as well? This gets my vote for it 🙂

  • I would like to see a new list of baiters. Seems like every list on link baiting has the same folks, granted they deserve the attention but there’s gotta be some new talent out there somewhere.

  • Hey! How come I’m not number one?

    I jest of course.

    Actually, to be even on a list with such cool dudes is a great honour. First thing I thought when I saw this was, “Is this a joke?”

    I shall continue my baiting till I can bait no more.

    Thank you kind sir for the link.

  • Is it maybe that women don’t need to bait to get some visitors? There are some examples in top 100 Technorati.

  • You’ve Got Me Baited

    Wow, this is absolutely hilarious! Without even seeing the rest of the entries, this one already gets my vote! I’ll be interested in seeing the responses to this posting. Thanks for the Monday morning laugh! Great stuff.

  • Pingback: WebConnoisseur » Blog Archive » 10 Biggest Master Baiters in Search Called Out()

  • SEODawg

    Put that on your resume: “Master Baiter”. Probably only makes sense in the search & fishing industries!

  • Personally, I think QuadZilla should be some where on that list….I don’t think I could’ve pulled this one off without his help

  • Master baiting will make you go blind. I’m from the 2% that lie. Nice post. Good luck in the contest. Your fellow entrant.

  • Pingback: Great linkbaiters are social retards |

  • Anonymous

    Great entry. I had to wipe my coffee off the computer screen after reading that one! You and the Jesus entry were smart to make your entries more enjoyable to read. The others put me to sleep.

    If a female did make the list, I’d include Jen L.

  • Josh Hartman

    Heh, heh. He said “master baiter.” Shut up, Beavis.

  • I surprised this didn’t go pop on Digg. Great post.

  • HDR

    LOL, that was a very creative post!

  • After I finished laughing, I found this to be a really helpful article. I offer a free Website Planning Guide to our site visitors and it’s been quite a successful tool so far (plus getting my clients to let me know what they want from their site).

  • Now that’s a creative title.

  • Pingback: Great linkbaiters are social misfits()